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December 23 - January 03

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January 06

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January 12 09:00 am - 10:30 am

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January 17

Profiles

David Heinemann, Ascension Class of 1989 and Financial Advisor

"At Ascension I learned core values such as honesty, loyalty, and hard work. They served me well throughout my subsequent education and now in my career."


What are the practices of the Lutheran Church?

Before you can understand what the Lutheran Church is all about, you must understand its history. This article will discuss Luther's Confessions, its doctrine, hymnody, and relationship to other Christian denominations. Then, you can make your own conclusions about its practices. Ultimately, you'll understand why you should become a Lutheran. Until then, enjoy learning about this Christian denomination. Here are some basic questions you should ask yourself:

Luther's Confessions

The Confessions of the Lutheran Church are a collection of written documents that describe the Christian faith in the light of the Bible. Lutherans consider the Confessions of Faith to be the definitive expression of Christian faith. Since the 16th century, nine different Lutheran confessions have been proclaimed as authoritative. The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod embraces the Scriptures as the inspired Word of God and subscribes to all of the symbolical books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

The doctrine of the Trinity is a central focus of the Lutheran Church, which differs from that of the Catholic and evangelical churches. The LCMS rejects papal authority and the five sacraments. It also maintains that human reconciliation with God is solely a product of grace and faith. Despite a schismatic tradition in the church, Luther's Confessions and practices of the Lutheran Church hold that salvation is obtained by grace through faith alone.

Luther's relationship to other Christian faiths

One of the central issues in Luther's life is the nature of reason and the place of emotion in faith. Luther's interpretation of faith, while not a new one, differs from those of the other Christian faiths. Luther rejected the notion that faith is purely cognitive, a sort of knowledge, while other interpretations view faith as a form of emotion. In this way, Luther broke with the old tradition and argued that faith can only be gained through the exercise of reason.

While Augustine argued that a person could not believe in the Bible without the authority of the church, Luther held that a man of faith has a light inside of him that allows him to appropriate Biblical truth, separate the wheat from the chaff, and discern the meaning of sacred texts. The words of the Gospel, he claimed, have glosses of their own and don't need human explanations or interpretations. These words become the new priesthood of the believer.

Luther's doctrine

In the Lutheran Church, the doctrine of justification follows the teachings of Martin Luther. Luther argued that human beings are righteous in two ways: they are created righteous by God's grace and enter into the relationship through faith. They also practice righteousness in their actions toward their neighbors. In a way, the doctrine of justification echoes Luther's own experience of losing favor with the Deity.

However, many critics have questioned Luther's view of the world. His double view of the world has been criticized as being contradictory by many. The dual view of Luther makes it difficult for him to understand both sides. While the Church claims that the Gospel rules the world, his dual view suggests that Christianity has nothing to do with temporal life. This dual view of the world leads to the development of secularism.

Luther's hymnody

A key component of Luther's reformation of the Roman Catholic Church was the reintroduction of hymnody. As the founder of the Lutheran Church, Luther sought to imbue his flock with lyrical and theological richness. He emphasized the power of song to spread the gospel message. Hence, the purpose of Luther's small catechism was to be memorized as a song.

A chorale prelude occurs before the main hymn. The purpose of this piece of music is to prepare the congregation for the hymn by introducing familiar tunes to the congregation. Having heard the prelude prepares the congregation emotionally, and it is common for organists to improvise these preludes. While improvisation was common in the Baroque era, it was not uncommon in Lutheran churches.

Luther's polity

In 1525, peasants in Saxony rebelled against their landlords, seeking liberation from the feudal system. Rather than siding with the rebels, Luther sided with the princes who crushed the rebellion and refused to identify the cause as liberation from feudalism. This contrasted with Luther's own views of pastoral care. While a great part of Luther's exegetical practices focused on the doctrine of hiddenness, his expositions of Scripture often revealed what was hidden, and therefore were not able to be read or understood.

The rise and fall of the Third Reich facilitated an ecumenical trend among Lutherans. While many German Lutherans split into different groups based on their political views, a common persecution created a unifying force. The Lutheran Una Sancta movement dominated ecumenical activity in Germany, and its leader Otto Dibelius played a major role in the establishment of the world council of churches.

Luther's rejection of purgatory

In 1517, Martin Luther wrote the 95 Theses. The 95 Theses affirmed his belief in purgatory, and he continued to believe in it even after the Reformation. However, Luther began to express doubts about the doctrine in 1522, and by 1525, he had explicitly rejected the notion of purgatory. This rejection was not rescinded until his death.

According to Luther, baptism was a necessity for spiritual regeneration. Lutheran denominations practice infant baptism as well as baptism of believing adults. Unlike Catholics, Lutherans believe that Jesus is truly present in the elements of bread and wine and reject the notion that they are merely symbolic. In addition, Lutherans reject the Catholic doctrine of purgatory, arguing that there is no scriptural support for the idea of purgatory.

    References:
  • Lutheran Beliefs and Practices - Learn how Lutherans departed from Roman Catholic teachings
  • Essay Writing Site - websites and discussions about help with coursework.
  • Lutheranism - is one of the largest branches of Protestantism, identifying with the theology of Martin Luther, a 16th-century German monk and reformer whose efforts to reform the theology and practice of the Roman Catholic Church launched the Protestant Reformation.
 

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